The leader of Pegida, the rapidly growing German organization that is dedicated to fighting Islamisation, quit earlier this week over photos he took of himself as Hitler.
Lutz Bachmann at first dismissed the incident as a joke but stepped down on Wednesday after state prosecutors opened a criminal investigation for suspected incitement to hatred over the picture and remarks, which appeared on his Facebook page.Bachman is also in trouble for referring to asylum seeker as "cattle" and "waste", though it's probably worth noting that the media accounts fail to mention whether or not he was speaking about all asylum seekers or about a specific group of asylum seekers; for example, was he talking about Serbians on fake passports, or asylum seekers with criminal records, or perhaps this guy?
Kathrin Oertel, the Pegida spokesperson, confirmed Mr Bachmann had resigned from all his responsibilities.
The controversy raises new questions about the Dresden-based group’s far-right leanings and its future. Mr Bachmann, 41, who founded Pegida last year, had been its natural leader — both on the podium and in committee meetings.
You see, the German Grand Coalition (the government) is cracking down on false asylum seekers, a growing problem across Europe. Are false asylum seekers not waste? Germany has been monitoring them after all. If it seems a little incredulous that discussing possible criminals and groups under investigation by government authorities using less than polite language is a scandal worthy of a resignation, you're probably right. Such a topic of such interest to policymakers and voters forced to live under those policies may be worth a discussion or twelve.
Which makes one of the passages in the article I quoted above look even curiouser.
state prosecutors opened a criminal investigation for suspected incitement to hatred over the picture and remarksIn December, Pegida had 15,000 people march in favour of its cause in Dresden and post-Charlie Hedbo another 25,000 man march took place. It's become so prevalent a force that authorities have banned the latest march (on, surprise surprise, security grounds).† No word yet whether Bachmann's resignation will change the ban seeing as how the rationale given was death threats against Bachmann. A movement with thousands of supporters is under investigation for "incitement" and almost certainly, the fact that its [former] leader received death threats will be the proof positive that they were right to do so.
But yeah, the real issue is a guy being accused of acting like Hitler trolling by taking a joke photo dressed up as Hitler.
† Yes that's right kids, it's a return visit of our old friend the Heckler's Veto